Y La Bamba

The Latin Alternative band Y La Bamba formed in Portland, Ore., in 2008 and attracted attention for its disarming fusion of traditional Mexican music and alternative rock.

The band reunited with producer Chris Funk, a member of The Decemberists, for its new EP, Oh February, due out later this month. It's also wrapping up an East Coast tour with the hit folk-rock band The Lumineers, with plans to tour the rest of the country.

In this installment of World Café, Y La Bamba plays songs from Oh February and talks with host David Dye about the root of its sound.



Muralismo is a San Francisco-based electric chamber folk rock group that evokes an image of a multi-colored kaleidscopic musical vision, and tells personal stories against a grand backdrop. Taking the emotionally complex songs of songwriter Mark David Ashworth as their starting point, Muralismo uses a broad palate of electric and acoustic guitars, female harmonies, strings, brass, reeds, piano, and sophisticated drum patterns to create a form of dense organic psychedelica, one that is strangely romantic at its core. Their upcoming debut album, recorded entirely to analog tape, uses the best of these traits to take listeners beyond the frustrations of digital life and into a world where stories are told in slowly-layered sonic brushstrokes.

Ashworth had been playing and recording under his own name for several years before Muralismo came together. He released two albums on artist-run label Autobus (Brazos, Bill Baird) that were featured on Le Blogoteque and NPR, among other places. The seed of Muralismo, however, wasn't really planted until he moved to San Francisco in 2007 and found bassist/arranger Tristan Arnold. Arnold's arranging skills allowed them to move beyond simple folk melodies to explore deeper harmonic ideas – embodied in the string arrangements he did for the the last MDA solo album, Bright is the Ring of Words.

In 2010, after the release of Bright is the Ring, Ashworth unexpectedly ran into childhood friend Taylor Jacobs, who serendipitously lived a block away in San Francisco's Mission District. Jacob's lush, deeply atmospheric guitar-work aligned perfectly with the direction the music was already headed. Shortly thereafter, they found drummer Shaun Lowecki, whose jazz background proved an apt counterpoint to the increasing harmonic complexity of the arrangements, and Pianist/Singer Ines Beltranena, an accomplished songwriter in her own right, whose powerful voice melded perfectly with Ashworth's rich baritone. While the previous sound was home-recorded with a quieter chamber-folk vision, the addition of musicians with different backgrounds brought an electricity and rhythmic drive previously unimaginable. It soon became clear that this was not just the continuation of what had come before, but something entirely new.

Muralismo, the eponymous debut album, distills and expands upon the diverse talents of the group. While staying true to the emotional core of the songs, Muralismo explores new dimensions in their sound to create something that feels grand and timeless.

$12 adv / $15 door


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Y La Bamba with Muralismo

Friday, June 28 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at The Chapel